Beautiful hill station, tea estates, a small town wrapped in a jungle! Lion tailed macaque, Nilgiri Tahr, Hornbills, Malabar whistling thrushes and tons of beautiful birds was all that I knew about this place before this first trip of mine. The Pixellin Valparai wildlife photography tour was a wonderful opportunity for me to join and guide a group of wildlife photographers from Bangalore. All that I knew was about the endemic wildlife available at Valparai and the photography aspect of it but hardly knew anything about the “when” and “where” part of it.

The entrance arch of “Anamalai Tiger Reserve”

I generally make multiple trips to a location, build my own knowledge base of that location and then accompany others and guide them there. But this was a unique tour where even I was there for the first time. Luckily this was addressed by the two young “Wizards of Valparai” (that’s the way I would like to call them) who joined us on this tour. They had the exact kind of knowledge that I would like to have before taking anyone with me to any place for photography. Thanks to Mr. Arun, Jishnu and Dhanu Paran who played a vital role in helping the agenda of the tour to be a successful one.

The group preferred to travel together to Valparai and I accompanied them from Bangalore. The tour started with some wildlife sightings on the way up-hill and that lifted the expectations of the members 🙂

Early morning trek…

We spent the next 3 days at a scenic location and enjoyed the wildlife sightings with some wonderful local food. All the target species that was on the checklist was ticked and the group got some amazing pictures and spent a lot of quality time making pictures of LTM, Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri Langur, and Great Hornbills.

A session with LTMs

It was a great trip without a doubt and the group left home with happy memories and wonderful pictures.

Lion-tailed Macaque
Nilgiri Tahr
Great Hornbill
The group